Blood, Brain, and Hair GHB Concentrations Following Fatal Ingestion

    Volume 46, Issue 3 (May 2001)

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    CODEN: JFSOAD

    Page Count: 3


    Schmunk, GA
    Office of the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner, San Jose, CA

    Kalasinsky, KS
    Division of Forensic Toxicology, Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Rockville, MD

    Dixon, MM
    Division of Forensic Toxicology, Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Rockville, MD

    Kish, SJ
    Human Neurochemical Pathology Laboratory, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario

    (Received 24 May 2000; accepted 11 July 2000)

    Abstract

    Despite the increasing incidence of illicit use of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), little information is available documenting levels of the drug in GHB fatalities. We measured GHB levels in postmortem blood, brain and hair specimens from a suspected overdose case by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) following solid phase extraction (SPE) and derivatization with bis(trimethyl-silyl) trifluoroacetamide (BSTFA). Examination found 330 µg/mL GHB in femoral blood and 221 ng/mg GHB in frontal cortex brain tissue, values higher than those typically reported in the literature. The hair shaft was negative for GHB whereas the plucked root bulbs with outer root sheath attached (2221 ng/mg) and root bulbs after washing and removal of the outer root sheath (47 ng/mg) contained the drug. Our results are consistent with an acute single dose of GHB and, as the toxicology screen was negative for other drugs of abuse, emphasize the significant danger of this drug.


    Paper ID: JFS15032J

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS15032J

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    Author
    Title Blood, Brain, and Hair GHB Concentrations Following Fatal Ingestion
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30